Rute Santos
Polytechnic Institute of Porta...

Animal Science, Plant Fertilization, Animal and Human Nutrition, Plant Protection and Animal Health

PhD
9.67

Publications

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    ABSTRACT: O presente documento traduz os resultados e recomendações destinadas à promoção do bem-estar dos bovinos no Parque de Leilões de Gado de Portalegre (PLGP), no seguimento dos serviços prestados pela equipa do Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre à ADEL-AL em 2014 e 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Equine endurance is the fastest growing equestrian sport regulated worldwide by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The fast growth in horse speed at endurance competitions is a major source of concerns regarding the welfare of horses and riders. Despite the mandatory veterinary examinations during the competitions and high elimination rates due to lameness and metabolic derangements, the incidence of catastrophic injuries, such as severe fractures and metabolic fatalities is rising (Coombs & Fisher, 2012). The existence of objective and non-invasive biomarkers of welfare and performance is mandatory to achieve the maximum results maintaining welfare and horse integrity. Stress biomarkers, such as salivary cortisol have started to be used by other authors (Peeters et al. 2013). Nevertheless, and despite its usefulness, the evaluation of stress based only in cortisol levels present limitations, since these are influenced by circadian cycle and other types of stress (Hellhammer et al., 2009). In a preliminary study, we investigated the value of salivary cortisol as a non-invasive biomarker of welfare and performance in 40km and 80km controlled speed endurance ridings. Saliva collection (using Salivettes®, STARSTED, Germany) was performed at home (resting), before the beginning of the competition and at each vetgate. Salivary cortisol was assessed through an ELISA technique. A positive correlation between salivary cortisol levels, at each vet gate, and the final speed was observed. Salivary cortisol levels before the race were also negatively correlated to the recovery time. Nevertheless, the value of cortisol levels as markers of performance, at each point, is dependent of the assessment on the animal salivary cortisol levels at rest and at other time points. In conclusion, this first study confirms the value of salivary cortisol, but also limitations in its use in a practical way during a race. Therefore other non-invasive tools to assess welfare and performance during endurance races are warranted. We propose to study the value of salivary proteins, ocular temperature (using infrared thermography) and lameness (using a portable inertial sensor based system) as objective and non-invasive methodsto identify horses at risk of developing serious health derangements during endurance competitions.
    First National Symposium on Biomarkers in Animal Science and Veterinary Sciences - An Interdisciplinary Approach, Évora, Portugal; 03/2015
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    ABSTRACT: O desenvolvimento regional e os mecanismos a este inerentes podem e devem ser promovidos pelas entidades da região, que se estabelecem como catalisadores e criadores de valor para a população. Importa, neste sentido, analisar a efetividade de diferentes estratégias e formas de valorização sinérgica do património local e regional, como é disso exemplo a reutilização/adaptação de infraestruturas existentes, como forma de valorização do património e da capacidade instalada. O presente estudo documenta e analisa os resultados de um esforço sinérgico de três instituições públicas Portuguesas, o Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre, o Exército Português e a Câmara Municipal de Elvas que se associaram para promover a reabilitação e desenvolvimento de infraestruturas preexistentes - localizadas no Museu Militar de Elvas, um espaço pleno de história, situado no perímetro abaluartado da cidade, e classificado como Património da Humanidade pela UNESCO - no sentido de criar as condições necessárias ao bom funcionamento de uma formação superior pública de oferta única, o curso de licenciatura em Equinicultura da Escola Superior Agrária de Elvas do Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre. Neste contexto, e com o objetivo de avaliar a relevância deste tipo de projeto e monitorizar o resultado efetivo desta parceria optou-se pela aplicação de uma metodologia exploratória simples, baseada em dois métodos de investigação distintos mas complementares: o método do estudo de caso aplicado ao projeto (considerando a análise sistematizada com recurso a um protocolo de investigação previamente estabelecido) e o método de investigação por questionário (considerando por um lado o envolvimento de grupos de foco e por outro o de um conjunto de stakeholders internos e externos). Esta abordagem metodológica, aplicada à avaliação do impacte da construção do Centro de Animação e Formação Equestre de Elvas (CAFEE), no Museu Militar de Elvas permitiu concluir que a recuperação de uma infraestrutura preexistente se constituiu como um catalisador para a revitalização e desenvolvimento local, apresentando um impacte considerável a diferentes níveis, nomeadamente na atividade turística, na atividade comercial local e na atividade académica. Paralelamente pode dizer-se que este tipo de parceria contribui de forma direta e indireta para a revitalização económica e sociocultural, potenciando a valorização do património e uma efetiva melhoria da qualidade de vida. Não obstante, considerando que o CAFEE foi apenas construído no decorrer de 2013, torna-se imperativo promover uma monitorização dos impactes identificados ao longo dos próximos anos, no sentido de validar os resultados obtidos na presente investigação.
    20th APDR Congress "Renaissance of the Regions of Southern Europe", Évora, Portugal; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: The possibility of using quantitative kinematic traits as indirect selection criteria for sport performance could be beneficial to perform an early genetic evaluation of the animals. The genetic parameters for objectively measured kinematic traits under field conditions have been estimated for the first time, in order to potentially use these traits as indicators of gait quality in future selection of the Lusitano breed. The repeatability within three different types of training (dressage, bullfighting and untrained) was also discussed. A total of 176 males (4 to 14 years old) were recorded at trot in hand using a 3D videographic system. The speed and 10 kinematic traits were studied (one temporal, two linear and seven angular variables). The genetic parameters of the kinematic variables were estimated using VCE software. The heritability estimates were moderate to high (0.18 to 0.53). The stride length and the forelimb angular variables presented the highest heritabilities (0.49 to 0.53), whereas the hindlimb angular variables revealed the lowest values (0.18 to 0.40). More than half of the genetic correlations were moderately to highly positive (mostly 0.20 to 0.70; up to 0.88 between hindlimb traits). The dressage and bullfighting groups presented the highest repeatabilities (over 0.6) in the majority of the traits, maybe because of the acquired gait regularity expected in animals subjected to specific training, and suggesting a greater influence of the individuals over the kinematic traits studied in these two subpopulations than in the untrained subpopulation. The longer swing phase duration and the larger range of motion of the elbow, hock and pelvis joints observed in the dressage group may indicate a better gait quality of this group, according to FEI (International Equestrian Federation) standards. The bullfighting and untrained groups were more similar to each other in terms of kinematic traits. Selection of young horses for characteristics such as stride length and the hindlimbs traits can apparently contribute to further genetic improvement of the performance of Lusitano breed.
    animal 02/2014; 8(2):192–199. DOI:10.1017/S1751731113002036 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The work describes and compares the conformation traits and gait characteristics in the main native Iberian dressage Purebreds (Lusitano, Spanish and Menorca horses). In total, 4 strides belonging to each of 66 males (4-14years old) were recorded at handled trot, using a 3D semi-automatic movement analysis system. Principal component analysis (PCA) and intraclass Correlations (iC) were computed. The Menorca Purebred showed proportionally higher limbs (23.8 and 15.1cm for the forelimb cannon and pastern lengths), the Lusitano Purebred had larger inclinations (66.1°, 37.7° and 47.9° for the scapula and pastern angles), and the Spanish Purebred presented a longer scapula (41.5cm) and a larger hip angle (132.1°), apparently showing a better conformation for dressage gaits. However, the three breeds presented undesirable tarsus joint conformation (<155.5°) for dressage performance. In general, all of them showed good features in the kinematics of the forelimbs. Nevertheless, the functional capacity of their hindlimbs and linear parameters probably need to be improved for their competitiveness.
    Research in Veterinary Science 07/2013; 95(2). DOI:10.1016/j.rvsc.2013.06.017 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: De acordo com os censos 2011, a região Alentejo conta com 39% do efetivo nacional de produção bovina em Portugal, quase di-rigido especificamente para a produção de carne e sendo evidente a concentração do efetivo nas grandes explorações com 138,4 cabeças/exploração. O distrito de Porta-legre, sendo o sexto maior do país, tem na actividade agrícola um importante vector da sua economia, não fosse ser a região da europa comunitária com o maior número de produtos agrícolas de denominação de ori-gem. A existência de pastagens espontâne-as, o montado e a possibilidade de produção de forragens justifica o desenvolvimento da actividade de bovinos de carne em regime extensivo, estando actualmente a produção direcionada não só para as tradicionais en-gordas, mas também para a venda ao des-mame, cada vez mais vocacionada para contratos com associações de produtores de modo a garantir a comercialização do pro-duto final. Os efectivos de animais puros ou cruza-dos, assentam especialmente nas raças au-tóctones Alentejana, Mertolenga e Preta e nas exóticas Limousine, Saler, Charolais e Aberdeen Angus. Do ponto de vista do maneio reprodutivo, verificaram-se distintas opções, apesar de o sistema da modalidade de produção ser maioritariamente a venda dos vitelos ao desmame. Alguns produtores optam por não ter época de cobrição definida, man-tendo os machos junto da vacada, de forma a distribuir o mais possível as parições ao longo do ano; outros agricultores preferem privilegiar os partos durante o verão, dando maior importância à condição corporal da vaca no momento em que volta à actividade éstrica; e existem ainda produtores que pre-ferem partos de inverno de modo a valori-zar o vitelo ao desmame. Do ponto de vista alimentar, o maneio de efetivos em regime extensivo fica desde logo condicionado à curva de erva característica das regiões me-diterrâneas (figura 1). Neste ciclo deve-se destacar do ponto de vista da produção de erva que esta é máxi-ma na primavera, ausente no verão e com uma produção a oscilar no outono, de acor-do com a precipitação, estabilizando no inverno por ausência de temperatura. Do ponto vista nutricional, também se pode concluir que a qualidade é máxima na pri-mavera dada a proporção dos conteúdos em proteína bruta na matéria seca e o baixo teor em fibra, mínima no verão e variável no outono, mas de um modo geral rica em proteína e pobre em energia. De acordo com este ciclo de produção natural de erva, criam-se algumas estratégias de produção e nutrição. Seguem-se 3 exemplos: • Os desmames na primavera que privile
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the handled walking and trotting kinematics (linear, temporal, and angular traits) of 35 Menorca Purebred (MEN) stallions, and the relationships among these variables is presented for the first time, along with a discussion of the influence of the hind limb pastern angle on kinematic variables at both gaits. For data collection, all animals, aged between 3 and 10 years old and belonging to 28 different studs, were recorded under the same experimental and environmental conditions, using a three-dimensional (3D) semiautomatic movement analysis system. A total of 24 kinematic variables (temporal, linear, and angular) at the walk and the trot and a morphometric variable measured at the mid stance position of walking (hind pastern angle) were included in this analysis. Angle-time diagrams of the hind pastern angle while walking and trotting normalized to stride duration were also obtained. Generally the MEN stallions' forelimb movements closely resembled the movement characteristics of other European dressage performance breeds, while the hind limb locomotion showed a greater likeness to Iberian dressage Purebreds. Despite this, their ability in collection and propulsion at the walk and the trot was relatively low. The hind limb pastern conformation was partially connected to the hind limb movements for both gaits, with an apparently negative effect of excessively upright pasterns on the amplitude at the trot, which indirectly reduced collection ability.
    Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 01/2012; 33(9). DOI:10.1016/j.jevs.2012.12.002 · 0.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The medicinal use of plants for animal health purposes is a tradition found worldwide. Nowadays, the idea of using the medicinal properties of plants in animals may be focused on two different perspectives: (1) the increasing concern with environmental issues and the growing popularity of organic farming as means of diminishing impacts on environment and public health; and (2) the need to find low cost solutions that allow the development of food production and cattle raising in underdeveloped countries. The present work aims to survey traditional medicinal uses of plants in animal health, namely on Equidae, in the Alentejo region, south Portugal. Being the first study regarding this subject, our first concern was to review ethnoveterinary studies in regions that presented similar soil and weather conditions, as well as common cultural background. A preliminary survey was carried out in Alentejo, during 2011 and the beginning of 2012. Forty semi-structured interviews were carried out with local individuals, mainly farmers, animal breeders and animal handlers, scattered throughout Alentejo. Data on plant taxa, medicinal uses and preparations for the different domestic animal groups (Bovinae, Caprinae – Capra, Caprinae – Ovis, Equidae, Suidae, Galliformes, Canidae and Felidae) were collected. Additionally, human utilization of medicinal plants was registered. A total of 626 citations of plant/application/animal or human were collected. The animal citations correspond to 75% of total. Among these, 19% mentioned the medicinal use of plants in Equidae (horses, donkeys and mules). The most frequently mentioned plants for Equidae were mallow (Malva spp./Lavatera spp.) and wooly St. John’s wort (Hypericum tomentosum). The most frequently mentioned use was the treatment of trauma, followed by gastrointestinal conditions. These results agree with those referred by other authors of ethnoveterinary studies in Mediterranean countries. Further studies should therefore be conducted, to allow common knowledge registration and problem resolution in Mediterranean areas, and to scientifically test the pharmacological application of these plants.
    Forrages and grazing in equine nutrition, EAAP Scientific Series, Vol. 132 edited by Markku Saastamoinen, Maria Joao Fradinho, Ana Sofia Santos, Nicoletta Miraglia, 01/2012: chapter Part 9: pages 401-411; Wageningen Academic Publishers., ISBN: 978-90-8686-755-4
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    ABSTRACT: The handled trot of three Lusitano Purebred stallions was analyzed by using 2D and 3D kinematical analysis methods. Using the same capture and analysis system, 2D and 3D data of some linear (stride length, maximal height of the hoof trajectories) and angular (angular range of motion, inclination of bone segments) variables were obtained. A paired Student T-test was performed in order to detect statistically significant differences between data resulting from the two methodologies With respect to the angular variables, there were significant differences in scapula inclination, shoulder angle, cannon inclination and protraction-retraction angle in the forelimb variables, but none of them were statistically different in the hind limb. Differences between the two methods were found in most of the linear variables analyzed.
    Veterinary Research Communications 01/2009; 33(6):507-13. DOI:10.1007/s11259-008-9196-x · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neste estudo foram testados três alimentos complementares da alimentação em montanheira: alimento comercial, cereal (triticale) e mistura de cereais com bagaço de soja. Cada alimento complementar foi distribuído de modo a fornecer diariamente as seguintes quantidades estimadas de Energia Digestível: 4250 kcal entre os 30 e os 40 kg de peso vivo; aumentando posteriormente até 6800 kcal aos 60-70 kg; e diminuindo progressivamente até 4800 kcal, aos 90-100 kg de peso vivo. Após análise dos resultados, encontraram-se correlações positivas significativas entre as percentagens de ácido palmítico (C16:0) e ácido esteárico (C18:0), tanto no músculo L. dorsi como no tecido adiposo subcutâneo. Verificou-se também a existência de correlações significativas negativas entre as percentagens de ácido oleico (18:1) e ácido linoleico (C18:2) em ambos os tecidos analisados. Encontraram-se diferenças significativas entre alimentos para a quantidade de gordura na carcaça, em termos absolutos, assim como para as percentagens de C18:1 e C18:2 na gordura subcutânea dorsal. O triticale foi o alimento que conduziu a uma maior quantidade de gordura na carcaça (16,65 ± 1,06 kg). Foi também este alimento que conduziu a uma maior quantidade de gordura intramuscular no músculo L. dorsi (5,54%), ainda que as diferenças sejam não significativas. Por outro lado, foi o alimento que conduziu a uma maior percentagem de ácido oleico (48,76%) e a uma menor percentagem de ácido linoleico (5,52%). Este facto, aliado à facilidade da sua produção na própria exploração, poderá fazer deste alimento uma opção interessante para os produtores de suínos em modo de produção biológico, desde que as quantidades fornecidas sejam restringidas, de modo a não penalizar a valorização comercial das carcaças por excesso de gordura. In this study, we tested three foodstuffs, complementary to the traditional breeding system (“montanheira”): a commercial foodstuff, a cereal (triticale) and a mixture of triticale, oats and soybean meal. Each foodstuff was given to the Alentejano pigs in order to supply the following digestible energy contents daily: 4250 kcal between 30 and 40 kg of live weight; increasing thereafter until reaching 6800 kcal at 60-70 kg of live weight; and then progressively decreasing until 4800 kcal, at 90-100 kg of live weight. After analysing the results, we found positive correlations between the percentages of palmitic acid (C16:0) and estearic acid (C18:0), both in the L. dorsi muscle and in the subcutaneous adipose tissue. We also found negative correlations between the percentages of oleic (C18:1) and linoleic (C18:2) acids in both tissues. We found significant differences between feedstuffs in what concerned total amount of fat, as well as relative values of C18:1 and C18:2 in subcutaneous fat. Triticale was the feedstuff that led to a larger amount of fat in the carcasses (16,65 ± 1,06 kg). It also led to a greater amount of intramuscular lipids in the L. dorsi muscle (5,54%), even though this difference was statistically non significant. On the other hand, this was the feedstuff that led to a higher C18:1 value (48,76%) and to a lower C18:2 value (5,52%). These characteristics, combined with the ease of production of this feedstuff at the farm, can make triticale an interesting option for organic pig farmers, as long as the amounts fed are restricted, in order not to diminish the commercial worth of carcasses because of excess of fat.
    Revista de Ciencias Agrarias 01/2008; 31(1):5-16.
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    ABSTRACT: RESUMO Com o objectivo de avaliar a influência do alimento nas características da carne de porco da raça Alentejana, para produção de carne fresca, testaram-se três alimentos: alimento comercial com 3200 kcal de Energia Digestível (ED)/kg e 18,1% de Proteína Bruta (PB), cereal (tri-ticale) com 3300 kcal ED/kg e 13%PB, e mistura de cereais (triticale e aveia) com bagaço de soja com 3200 kcal ED/kg e 17,4% PB. Cada alimento foi distribuído de modo a fornecer 4250 kcal/dia entre os 30 e os 40 kg de peso vivo, aumentando posteriormente até às 6800 kcal/dia dos 60 aos 70 kg, diminuindo progressivamente até às 4800 kcal/dia dos 90 aos 100 kg de peso vivo. O ensaio foi delineado em 2 blocos casualizados com 3 parques por bloco e 8 animais em cada parque. Os animais, de raça Alentejana, iniciaram o estudo com 35 kg de peso vivo (PV) e foram abatidos aos 100 kg. Após o abate foram desmanchadas (desmacha comercial) 4 carcaças de cada parque e recolhidas amostras do músculo Longissimus dorsi (LD), posteriormente congeladas a – 20 ºC até ao momento da análise. Sobre as amostras de lombo, em laboratório procederam-se às seguintes determinações: pH, CRA (capacidade de retenção de água), cor (CIE LAB), humidade, teor de gordura intramuscular e teor de pigmentos totais. Os resultados relativos ao pH, CRA, cor, teor de gordura intramuscular e teor de pigmentos totais não apresentaram diferenças significativas. Quanto aos teores de humidade, os animais alimentados com triticale apresentaram valores significativamente mais baixos (68,8%) do que os do alimento comercial e da mistura (71,1% e 71,3% respectivamente), o que está de acordo com o maior teor em lípidos intramusculares presentes no lombo dos animais alimentados com triticale, apesar de as diferenças serem não significativas. Concluímos que os três alimentos testados tiveram pouca influência na variação das características físico-químicas analisadas, mas influenciaram significativamente quer a quantidade de músculo produzido, quer o seu peso relativo na carcaça.
    Revista de Ciencias Agrarias 01/2007; 30(1):375-384.
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    M Valera, F Blesa, R. Dos Santos, A Molina
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    ABSTRACT: The length of gestation in Andalusian, or Spanish Purebred (SPB) and Arabian (AB) mares reared in Spain was analysed, based on 766 spontaneous full-term deliveries appertaining to 141 mares of SPB breed and 72 mares of AB breed in 31 breeding seasons. The data were obtained from the Yeguada Militar de Jerez de la Frontera stud farm in Cádiz, Spain. The mean length of gestation was of 336.8+/-0.48 days in the SPB mares and 340.3+/-0.63 days in AB mares. To assess the accurate prediction of time of birth the potential effect of a number of factors was investigated. The influences of the breed, mare, month and year of mating, age of the mother, number of births and sex of the foal were statistically significant. The factor have the greatest influence over the gestation length was the mare itself, with a correlation among consecutive births of around 0.4. The effect of inbreeding, both of the mare and foal, was negligible. Gestation length shortened as the breeding season progressed: in both breeds, a delay of 1 month in mating corresponded to a decrease of 3 days in the gestation length. According to our results, gestation length decrease as the mare gets older, with the shortest gestation periods when the mare is 10-12 years old, and from this point on, it slowly increases. The gestation period shortens as the 4th or 5th birth approaches, and then gets progressively longer. The range of variation in gestation length due to the number of births to the mare is of 2.9 days for the AB mares, and 2.2 days for SPB mares. The heritability for the gestation length for AB and the SPB breeds was 0.2, with a repeatability of 0.36 and 0.37, for SPB and AB breeds, respectively. With the data from both breeds, and using a classical approach, the response to selection was estimated if mares with extreme gestation lengths were culled, i.e. lengths which are under 310 days, or over 360 days. According to our results, in the case of SPB, a decrease of 14-45% would occur in the number of extreme gestation lengths, while in the AB breed, this value would decrease from 2 to 39%.
    Animal Reproduction Science 10/2006; 95(1-2):75-96. DOI:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2005.09.008 · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    A. Molina, M. Valera, R. Dos Santos, A. Rodero
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study has been to estimate for the first time the genetic parameters of 18 morphofunctional traits in the Andalusian Horse. The data were obtained from the evaluations made on 1273 horses between the years 1991 to 1997. The heritabilities and genetic correlations of these traits were estimated using a BLUP Animal model with REML methodology. The heritabilities obtained for the body measurements were moderate to high (0.35 to 0.95). The estimates obtained for the scored regional conformation show a lower value (0.03–0.50). The heritability for the racial fidelity and overall forms were of 0.58, while the scoring for movements shows a value of 0.15, and 0.08 for temperament, which agrees with the fact that they are the most subjective and complex features being closely tied to the behaviour variables. Lastly, the heritability of the overall evaluation trait, which includes all the previous characters, shows an intermediate magnitude (0.25). The phenotypic and genetic correlations estimated were all positive. The genetic correlations range between 0.11 and 0.94 for zoometric measures and between 0.12 and 0.91 for the regional morphologic evaluations. The punctuation for racial fidelity and overall forms shows a genetic correlation of 0.55 with movement scorings and 0.74 with the overall evaluation of the animal.RésuméL’objectif de cette étude a été d’estimer pour la première fois les paramètres génétiques de 18 caracterès morphofonctionnels chez le cheval Andalou (Pure Race Espagnole). Les données ont été obtenues á partir des évaluations réalisées sur 1273 chevaux entre les années 1991 à 1997. Pour le calcul de ces paramètres génétiques, on a utilisé le BLUP modèle Animal avec la méthodologie REML. Les héritabilités obtenues pour les mesures zoométriques sont de grandeur moyennement-hautes, oscillant entre 0.35 et 0.96. Les estimations obtenues pour les évaluations morphologiques régionales présentent une valeur sensiblement inférieure (0.03–0.50). La héritabilité pour la fidélité raciale et la harmonie de formes est de 0.58. La évaluation par mouvements présente une valeur de 0.15; ce qui concorde avec le fait que c’est le caracterè le plus subjectif, et le plus complexe étant donné qu’il est intemement uni aux variables du comportement. En dernier, la héritabilité du ponctuation total, présente une grandeur intermédiaire (0.25), en incluant tous les antérieurs. Toutes les corrélations génétiques et phénotypiques estimées ont été positives. Les corrélations génétiques oscillent entre 0.11 et 0.94 pour les measures zoométriques, entrer 0.12 et 0.91 pour les évaluations morphologiques régionales. Lá fidélité raciale et la harmonie de formes a présenté une corrélation de 0.55 avec la valoration au mouvemente et de 0.74 avec l’evaluation globale de l’animal.
    Livestock Production Science 07/1999; DOI:10.1016/S0301-6226(99)00101-3

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